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What Eats Ducks? (32 Animals with Pictures)

What Eats Ducks

Examples of animals that eat ducks include snakes, eagles, owls, bears, and bobcats.

Ducks are abundant in many parts of the world, and they are eaten by a variety of animals in the wild.

Many ruthless predators that can catch and kill a duck will do so – from fish to mammals to reptiles. Ducks have very few defenses against predators – their feathers provide good insulation against the cold but not much protection against teeth and claws. Their main protection is, simply, flying away.

While some animals will only eat ducks on occasion, others include them as a regular part of their diet. Here are some of the most common animals that eat ducks.

Examples of Animals that Eat Ducks

1. Badgers

badger
Scientific NameMeles meles
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangeprimarily in the Great Plains region of North America

Badgers are a type of mustelid, which is a family of animals that also includes weasels, otters, and ferrets. In the wild, badgers primarily eat small mammals like mice and voles. However, they will also eat birds, eggs, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. Ducks are not a preferred food for badgers, but they will eat them if they are available.

2. Bald Eagles

Bald Eagle
Scientific NameHaliaeetus leucocephalus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America

Bald eagles are the national bird of the United States. They are apex predators, meaning they sit at the top of the food chain in their ecosystem. Bald eagles primarily eat fish, but will also eat other aquatic animals, like ducks, as well as small mammals and birds.

3. Barred Owls

Barred eagle-owl
Scientific NameStrix varia
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesouthwestern Canada, Washington, Oregon, and northern California

Barred owls are one of the most common predators of ducks. They are found throughout North and Central America, and their diet consists primarily of small mammals, birds, and ducks.

4. Black Bears

Black Bear
Scientific NameUrsus americanus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth American continent

Black bears are one of the most common predators of ducks. They are found in many different habitats and can be quite versatile in their diets. While they will eat a variety of things, black bears especially enjoy eating ducks.

5. Black-Backed Gulls

Great Black-Backed Gull
Scientific NameLarus marinus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangealong the Atlantic Coast and inland on the Great Lakes

Black-backed gulls are a type of seagull that is found on the coastlines of many different continents. They are opportunistic predators, meaning that they will eat whatever is available to them. This includes ducks, which make up a significant part of their diet.

Read Also: 28 Birds that Look Like Seagulls

6. Bobcats

bobcat
Scientific NameLynx rufus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangefrom southern Canada, down through the USA to northern Mexico

Bobcats are small wildcats that are found throughout North America. They are very versatile predators and will eat a variety of prey animals. Ducks make up a significant portion of their diet, especially in the winter when other prey is harder to find.

7. Bullfrogs

Bullfrog
Scientific NameLithobates catesbeianus
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeNorth American

Bullfrogs are a type of frog that is found in North America and parts of South America. They are one of the most common predators of ducks and will eat both juvenile and adult ducks.

8. Cats

Siamese Cat
Scientific NameFelis catus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide

Domestic cats are probably the most common predator of ducks. While different cats have different preferences, most domestic cats will eat ducks given the opportunity.

9. Coyotes

coyote
Scientific NameCanis latrans
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethe United States and Canada

Coyotes are common predators of ducks in North America. They typically hunt in pairs or small groups, and will often kill more ducks than they can eat immediately. This is because coyotes cache (or store) their extra prey for future meals. Ducks are a relatively common food item for coyotes, but they will also eat other small mammals, amphibians, and reptiles.

10. Crows

crow
Scientific NameCorvus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide

Crows are another common predator of ducks. They will eat both ducklings and adult ducks, and often hunt in groups to increase their chances of success. Crows are particularly fond of eating the eggs of ducks.

Related Article: Does Crows Eat Mushrooms?

11. Dogs

Maremma Sheepdog
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide

Dogs are perhaps the most common predator of ducks. From domesticated dogs that get loose to wild canids like coyotes and foxes, these animals will kill and eat ducks given the opportunity. In many cases, the duck is simply seen as prey and is not eaten for any particular nutritional value.

12. Franklin’s Ground Squirrels

Eastern Gray Squirrel
Scientific NamePoliocitellus franklinii
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeThe United States and Canada

These small rodents are voracious predators of ducks and have even been known to kill and eat adults. They will often take ducklings and eggs as well, making them a serious threat to populations of ducks.

13. Great Horned Owls

Great Horned Owl
Scientific NameBubo virginianus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeThe United States, as well as in Alaska

Great horned owls are one of the primary predators of ducks in North America. They hunt them primarily at night when they are most active. The owls will eat both the ducks and their eggs, making them a major threat to local populations.

14. Grizzly Bears

grizzly bear
Scientific NameUrsus arctos horribilis
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America

Grizzlies are known to eat just about anything, and ducks are no exception. These powerful predators will kill and eat ducks given the opportunity, though they do not typically target them specifically.

15. Herons

heron
Scientific NameArdeidae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America

Herons are a type of bird that specializes in eating fish, but they will also take other animals, including ducks. These long-legged birds will typically eat ducklings and eggs, but will also go after adult ducks on occasion.

16. Humans

Humans
Scientific NameHomo sapiens
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide

Humans are by far the biggest threat to ducks. We hunt them for their meat and feathers, we destroy their habitat, and we introduce diseases that can kill them in large numbers. In many cases, humans are the primary reason why duck populations decline.

17. Largemouth Bass

largemouth bass
Scientific NameMicropterus salmoides
Type of AnimalFish
RangeWorldwide

The largemouth bass is a predatory fish that occasionally eat ducks. They typically prefer smaller prey but will go after larger fish or ducks if the opportunity arises. They have been seen pulling small ducklings under the water to kill them.

18. Magpies

Magpie
Scientific NameGymnorhina tibicen
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEurope, Asia, and western North America

Magpies are a type of bird that is known for their scavenging behavior. They will eat just about anything, including ducks. Magpies are typically not a major threat to duck populations, but they can cause some damage by taking eggs and younglings.

19. Mink

mink chewing bones
Scientific NameNeovison vison
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethe United States

Mink are small, semi-aquatic mammals that are closely related to weasels. They are found throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. In the wild, mink typically eat rodents, fish, frogs, and birds. Ducks are occasionally on the menu as well.

20. Northern Harriers

Northerrn Harriers
Scientific NameCircus cyaneus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America

Northern harriers are medium-sized birds of prey that are found in marshy areas throughout the world. They have long wings and tail feathers, and they hunt by flying low over the ground. Their diet consists mainly of small mammals, but they will also eat reptiles, amphibians, and birds. This includes ducks, especially young ones.

21. Northern Pike

northern pike
Scientific NameEsox lucius
Type of AnimalFish
RangeEurasia and North America

Northern pike is freshwater fish that are found in North America and Europe. They are predatory fish, meaning they eat other fish. In the wild, they can grow to be quite large – up to six feet in length. Pike has a reputation for being voracious eaters, and ducks are a common prey item.

22. Opossum

Virginia Opossum
Scientific NameDidelphidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeUnited States, Mexico, Central America, South America and Canada

Opossums are marsupials that are found in North America and South America. They are nocturnal animals, meaning they are active at night. Opossums are opportunistic eaters and will consume just about anything they can find. This includes ducks, which they will eat if given the opportunity.

Related Article: Do Opossums Go Through Metamorphosis?

23. Polar Bears

A large polar bear sniffing the air
Scientific NameUrsus maritimus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethe Arctic

Polar bears are large, carnivorous mammals that are found in the Arctic region. They are the largest land predators in the world, and their diet consists mainly of seals. However, polar bears will also eat birds, including ducks.

24. Raccoons

Crab-Eating Raccoon
Scientific NameProcyon lotor
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America

Raccoons are another common predator of ducks in North America. They are extremely opportunistic feeders and will eat just about anything they can find. This includes invertebrates, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, and eggs. While ducks are not a preferred food for raccoons, they will eat them if they are available.

25. Ravens

Raven
Scientific NameCorvus corax
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide

Ravens are large, blackbirds that are found throughout the world. They are omnivorous, and their diet consists of a variety of food items, including small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Ravens will also eat duck eggs and ducklings.

26. Red Foxes

red fox
Scientific NameVulpes vulpes
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeThe United States from Alaska to Florida

Red foxes are mammals that are found throughout the world. They are carnivorous, and their diet consists mainly of small mammals, such as mice and rabbits. However, red foxes will also eat birds, including ducks.

27. Red-Shouldered Hawks

Harris's Hawk
Scientific NameButeo lineatus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America

Red-shouldered hawks are medium-sized birds of prey that are found in North America. They have red shoulders, hence their name. Red-shouldered hawks typically eat small mammals and reptiles, but they will also eat birds, including ducks.

28. Red-Tailed Hawks

Red-Tailed Hawks
Scientific NameButeo jamaicensis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America

These birds of prey are one of the most common predators of ducks. They will often perch in trees or on power lines, waiting for their opportunity to strike. When they see a duck, they will swoop down and grab it with their talons. They will then take it back to their nest to eat.

29. Skunks

Hog-Nosed Skunks
Scientific NameMephitidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeUnited States, Canada, South America, and Mexico

While skunks are more often known for their smelly defense mechanism, they are also adept hunters. They will sometimes eat ducks, although it is not their preferred food. When hunting ducks, skunks will use their long claws to grab them and then kill them with a bite to the neck.

30. Snakes

black snake
Scientific NameSerpentes
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeWorldwide

Snakes are another predator that eats ducks. They will often ambush their prey, striking quickly and biting the duck’s neck to kill it. Then the snake will coil around the duck’s body and swallow it whole. Snakes are also regularly seen eating duck eggs and ducklings.

31. Snapping Turtles

Snapping Turtle
Scientific NameChelydridae
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeThe United States, Mexico, and Canada

These large turtles are found in many ponds and lakes, where ducks often swim. When a duck gets too close to a snapping turtle, it will lunge out of the water and bite the duck’s head or neck. The turtle will then pull the duck under the water to drown it.

32. Weasels

weasel
Scientific NameMustela
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide

Weasels are small, elongated predators that are found in many different parts of the world. In North America, they are often called “minks” or “ermines.” These animals will kill and eat ducks, as well as other small animals.

Conclusion

Great Horned Owls, Eagles, Black Bears, Coyotes , and Alligators are all opportunistic predators and will eat a variety of different animals. This includes ducks which make up a significant part of their diet. Depending on the location in North America where these creatures live they may have to rely more heavily on other smaller prey.

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